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GazB

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Hello everyone.

 

So I've recently been working on a kit in a NATO three-tone scheme and wanted to give it a faded appearance. I took each of the three colours (Tamiya NATO Green, Black and Brown) and add small amounts of white to lighten them up. I started on one side of the vehicle and got a nice, smooth application that was nice to control and did the job. But when I switched over to the other side with the same load of paint, it started to spatter more. I couldn't work out the cause for this, because the needle was clean, nothing had collected on the cup. By all accounts the airbrush was exactly the same when the spraying was as desired as when it started to mess up, and it was the same load of paint. 

 

I'm really confused by this, especially my airbrush in general. Its a cheaper clone of something with a 0.3mm nozzle, but sometimes it'll work perfectly and in the same session just suddenly start performing worse with no real explanation. I tried thinning the paint with a drop or two of thinner, but it was then starting to hit spider webbing territory (I've often heard the solution to spitting was thinning, but if I do that, it goes too thin and still spatters).

 

Does anyone have any pointers or suggestions?

 

Cheers, Gaz.

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5 minutes ago, Dads203 said:

Buy an Iwata :D

lol, I knew I should have mentioned 'anything but a new one' :P

 

Gaz

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So are you thinning the paints at all? You said that later you added a drop or two of thinner and it started to spiderweb. But are you thinning them at the start? If not, I'm surprised you even got Tamiya paint to spray at all, it's too thick from the jar to spray nicely without thinners..

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Just now, Steve Noble said:

So are you thinning the paints at all? You said that later you added a drop or two of thinner and it started to spiderweb. But are you thinning them at the start? If not, I'm surprised you even got Tamiya paint to spray at all, it's too thick from the jar to spray nicely without thinners..

Oh yeah. I pre-thin all of my Tamiya paints on opening so they work like a charm right out of the jar.

 

Gaz

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6 minutes ago, GazB said:

Oh yeah. I pre-thin all of my Tamiya paints on opening so they work like a charm right out of the jar.

 

Gaz

I had this same discussion the other day regarding pre thinning of paints. I never do that, as I find the paint and thinner separate and in my case at least, the paints become unusable. I only mix what I need and use it all, I never put thinned paint back in the pot. 

Anyway, back to your problem. It may be paint drying in the tip and blocking the spray. So you spray for a while and all is good, then you get paint drying in the tip and it restricts the flow so you get a poor spray. That's one of the reasons I switched onto Mr Color lacquer paints. I've never had an issue with them drying whilst spraying. In fact I've never had any issues with them at all..

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53 minutes ago, Steve Noble said:

I had this same discussion the other day regarding pre thinning of paints. I never do that, as I find the paint and thinner separate and in my case at least, the paints become unusable. I only mix what I need and use it all, I never put thinned paint back in the pot. 

Anyway, back to your problem. It may be paint drying in the tip and blocking the spray. So you spray for a while and all is good, then you get paint drying in the tip and it restricts the flow so you get a poor spray. That's one of the reasons I switched onto Mr Color lacquer paints. I've never had an issue with them drying whilst spraying. In fact I've never had any issues with them at all..

I have a single action and the air is always on, is it possible that makes it more liable to tip dry when you're not spraying? I have a mini compressor so i can turn it off to stop the flow but, I pondered if that could be having an effect.

 

Gaz

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The air is only coming out when you press the trigger so I doubt it will be that

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22 minutes ago, colin said:

The air is only coming out when you press the trigger so I doubt it will be that

Its not on mine, tho. Its constant airflow. I only control the paint with the trigger.

 

Gaz

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My guess is you have paint drying on the nozzle tip or you have pigment gathering on the bottom (which incidentally is where the nozzle is). Try backflushing and spray it again, see if that fixes it. If the pigment gathers on the bottom backflushing will force the paint-thinner mix to...well...remix. Careful when you backflush so you don't get paint all over the place.

And since you're using acrylics I strongly suggest you do a thorough cleaning every now and then. I always find dried up paint in the nozzles after using acrylics. Never happens with enamels or lacquer paints.

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1 hour ago, bmwh548 said:

My guess is you have paint drying on the nozzle tip or you have pigment gathering on the bottom (which incidentally is where the nozzle is). Try backflushing and spray it again, see if that fixes it. If the pigment gathers on the bottom backflushing will force the paint-thinner mix to...well...remix. Careful when you backflush so you don't get paint all over the place.

And since you're using acrylics I strongly suggest you do a thorough cleaning every now and then. I always find dried up paint in the nozzles after using acrylics. Never happens with enamels or lacquer paints.

Thanks for the pointers :)

 

I do a quick clean after each new colour, and I do more thorough clean when I'm done. Disassembling and cleaning the parts individually. I need a new cleaning brush to push through some of the parts, though. The one I got fell to pieces.

 

Gaz

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2 hours ago, GazB said:

Its not on mine, tho. Its constant airflow. I only control the paint with the trigger.

 

Gaz

Time for a another airbrush I would think, can't imagine trying to control one like yours, but then I'm like Dads203 and use Iwata 😉

Do you have a picture of yours, as I haven't come across one like that

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I'm guessing the nozzle is similar to Iwata? That microscopic type? Really hard to clean up properly, you can get some of those dentist's cotton rolls or whatever they're called. The ones that can fit through the teeth gaps. Those can get into the nozzle and clean it all the way. Or you can get a large cotton bag and make them yourself. A few strands wrapped around an old needle, soaked in thinner and gently turn the needle inside the nozzle. You'll be surprised what comes out.

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14 hours ago, GazB said:

Hello everyone.

 

So I've recently been working on a kit in a NATO three-tone scheme and wanted to give it a faded appearance. I took each of the three colours (Tamiya NATO Green, Black and Brown) and add small amounts of white to lighten them up. I started on one side of the vehicle and got a nice, smooth application that was nice to control and did the job. But when I switched over to the other side with the same load of paint, it started to spatter more. I couldn't work out the cause for this, because the needle was clean, nothing had collected on the cup. By all accounts the airbrush was exactly the same when the spraying was as desired as when it started to mess up, and it was the same load of paint. 

 

I'm really confused by this, especially my airbrush in general. Its a cheaper clone of something with a 0.3mm nozzle, but sometimes it'll work perfectly and in the same session just suddenly start performing worse with no real explanation. I tried thinning the paint with a drop or two of thinner, but it was then starting to hit spider webbing territory (I've often heard the solution to spitting was thinning, but if I do that, it goes too thin and still spatters).

 

Does anyone have any pointers or suggestions?

 

Cheers, Gaz.

That's the crux of the issue.  No matter what suggestions you try, the inconsistency of the airbrush will negate them all.  Unfortunately, you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to airbrushes and most of us have been there with an airbrush that just does its own thing. It will either frustrate you to the point of giving in airbrushing or resolve you to buy a reliable one ;)

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I started with a Badger 200 single action brush when I was 14, not a bad brush and it certainly worked, it was reliable and never failed to work but it wasn’t quite upto the task of fine lines, I changed to a Badger 150 and used this for another 5 years or so, again it worked well and was reliable but not quite upto what I wanted.

 

I changed to an Iwata TR1 and was blown away by the difference, it was like night and day, my airbrushing finishing improved considerably and overnight. 

A cheap airbrush will take you so far and then stop, as I said before Badgers are good airbrushes but not fantastic. They do what they say on the tin and they are reliable and relatively cheap.

 

The cheap Chinese copies are not consistent, some people have had great results with them and others have been put off Airbrushing totally by them. Yeah they are cheap but precise they are not, I have heard that for every 5 you buy you might get one good one. The machining tolerances are just not there and you shouldn’t expect them to be and it adds to the adage of “buy cheap, buy twice” in most cases.

I have used a few airbrushes in my time, I rapidly approaching 50 now so I have few years under my belt of using these tools and I would always choose a genuine Iwata.

 

I own two Iwata brushes, the TR1 and Custom Micron, these are all I use on a regular basis, the TR1 is as good as it was the day I bought it over 10 years ago. Yeah I’ve replaced seals and bought a needle or two but it’s a quality item and never failed me.

 

I’ve stayed away from Neo brushes and H&S as they have a few consistency/reliability issues and yes I’ve used both. The Neo brushes are not really Iwata brushes although they are branded by them. I can’t remember who actually makes them.

With the prices of kits getting more expensive as the months go by I think £100 for a decent airbrush is a no brainer and using one that has a decent rep will take away most of your frustrations. 

 

Just my tuppence worth 

 

Dan 

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If the brush emits air constantly then your air valve is stuck open. Single action means you will get air and paint as soon as you depress the trigger. Double action means you get air when the trigger is depressed but have to pull the trigger back to get paint (two actions)

I would recommend polishing the needle with fine wet or dry paper as these cheap clones often are not finished to the high levels of machining that the premium manufacturers use.

 

Also, when you get the brush working properly, try turning up the air pressure slightly and controlling the paint more carefully. This often helps prevent spatter.

 

Atb, Steve.

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The 'air always on' type of brush does exist: my wife has one for cake decoration. It is fine for what it does but there is very little control other than what you can manage with the paint flow with your trigger finger.

It certainly sounds like your problem is paint drying on the tip. 

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39 minutes ago, triumphfan said:

If the brush emits air constantly then your air valve is stuck open. Single action means you will get air and paint as soon as you depress the trigger. Double action means you get air when the trigger is depressed but have to pull the trigger back to get paint (two actions)

I would recommend polishing the needle with fine wet or dry paper as these cheap clones often are not finished to the high levels of machining that the premium manufacturers use.

 

Also, when you get the brush working properly, try turning up the air pressure slightly and controlling the paint more carefully. This often helps prevent spatter.

 

Atb, Steve.

 

I really wouldn’t put wet and dry anywhere near a needle, cheap brush or no, the only thing I would try would be a metal polish or a paint cutting compound, you want to make the needle as smooth and polished as possible without removing too much material.

 

Micro mesh might be only thing that could work but only the finest grade if you are inclined to try that, again polishing the needle without bending the tip would be fun.

 

 

Dan 

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A reasonably good airbrush doesn't have to cost the earth. I started with and Iawata Neo (currently £64 on Ebay) but the nozzle split after less than a year and as the spare parts were quite expensive, I bought a Harder & Steenbeck Ultra (currently £61 on Amazon). Out of the two I much prefer the the Ultra. Yes doubling that budget will get you a much better airbrush, but either the Neo or the Ultra are pretty good and will be a giant leap in quality from what you have now.

 

I accept that if money is tight, sixty odd quid seems expensive, but you don't have to screw up the painting on many kits before it starts to look like a worthwhile investment. Early birthday prezzie perhaps?

 

I hope you sort your problem out one way or another.

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6 hours ago, Greg B said:

That's the crux of the issue. Unfortunately, you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to airbrushes and most of us have been there with an airbrush that just does its own thing. It will either frustrate you to the point of giving in airbrushing or resolve you to buy a reliable one ;)

Agree 100% I think a decent brush from the start will set you on your way to good airbrushing. However you don't have to spend hundreds of pounds. Plenty of nice brushes sub £100 That are plenty good enough..

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18 hours ago, colin said:

Time for a another airbrush I would think, can't imagine trying to control one like yours, but then I'm like Dads203 and use Iwata 😉

Do you have a picture of yours, as I haven't come across one like that

61U3qGGMPiL._SL1200_.jpg

This is the one. I got it with a small mini-compressor. Its actually my second one. The first had performance issues because I accidentally caught the tip of the needle and bent it, and couldn't quite get it straight again. Not long after I had the aforementioned paint issues, the tip of the newer one got bent as well (not entirely sure how, but it was fine when I had the spray issues). I tried straightening that with a set of pliers and it more or less worked, but still no idea how I bent it since the protect cap was on and I didn't hit anything.

10 hours ago, bmwh548 said:

I'm guessing the nozzle is similar to Iwata? That microscopic type? Really hard to clean up properly, you can get some of those dentist's cotton rolls or whatever they're called. The ones that can fit through the teeth gaps. Those can get into the nozzle and clean it all the way. Or you can get a large cotton bag and make them yourself. A few strands wrapped around an old needle, soaked in thinner and gently turn the needle inside the nozzle. You'll be surprised what comes out.

Has a crew in type nozzle, which I often undo and use a reaming tool on, same for the connector back into the paint cup. Although, I actually swapped out the nozzle for a replacement one, since the stock ones weren't great and it increase performance.

9 hours ago, Steve Noble said:

What airbrush do you use? I've never seen one before that blows air all the time like you described...

My Revell compressor airbrush always had the air on. The newer ones I got were double action, but I couldn't get the hang of it (I was also kind concerned wondering where the air would go from the mini-compressor if it wasn't evacuating, so I switched the connector from the Revell one to the new ones when I use it, turning them into single action. I like having the air on without a paint risk because I find it easier to control for drying.

9 hours ago, Greg B said:

That's the crux of the issue.  No matter what suggestions you try, the inconsistency of the airbrush will negate them all.  Unfortunately, you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to airbrushes and most of us have been there with an airbrush that just does its own thing. It will either frustrate you to the point of giving in airbrushing or resolve you to buy a reliable one ;)

I recently started putting some thinner through the brushes when cleaning, which seems to give a better clean. Different paints seem to react differently to cleaning methods. Some clean with the airbrush cleaner, some with water better, others with thinner. Real Color cleans best with its thinner, Tamiya with either its thinner or Ultimate Cleaner, Mig Ammo with water.

9 hours ago, Dads203 said:

I started with a Badger 200 single action brush when I was 14, not a bad brush and it certainly worked, it was reliable and never failed to work but it wasn’t quite upto the task of fine lines, I changed to a Badger 150 and used this for another 5 years or so, again it worked well and was reliable but not quite upto what I wanted.

 

I changed to an Iwata TR1 and was blown away by the difference, it was like night and day, my airbrushing finishing improved considerably and overnight. 

A cheap airbrush will take you so far and then stop, as I said before Badgers are good airbrushes but not fantastic. They do what they say on the tin and they are reliable and relatively cheap.

 

The cheap Chinese copies are not consistent, some people have had great results with them and others have been put off Airbrushing totally by them. Yeah they are cheap but precise they are not, I have heard that for every 5 you buy you might get one good one. The machining tolerances are just not there and you shouldn’t expect them to be and it adds to the adage of “buy cheap, buy twice” in most cases.

I have used a few airbrushes in my time, I rapidly approaching 50 now so I have few years under my belt of using these tools and I would always choose a genuine Iwata.

 

I own two Iwata brushes, the TR1 and Custom Micron, these are all I use on a regular basis, the TR1 is as good as it was the day I bought it over 10 years ago. Yeah I’ve replaced seals and bought a needle or two but it’s a quality item and never failed me.

 

I’ve stayed away from Neo brushes and H&S as they have a few consistency/reliability issues and yes I’ve used both. The Neo brushes are not really Iwata brushes although they are branded by them. I can’t remember who actually makes them.

With the prices of kits getting more expensive as the months go by I think £100 for a decent airbrush is a no brainer and using one that has a decent rep will take away most of your frustrations. 

 

Just my tuppence worth 

 

Dan 

I really should invest in a better one at some point. Just trying to find the money to scrounge together for it. Would certainly make it easier for getting replacement parts if needed.

9 hours ago, triumphfan said:

If the brush emits air constantly then your air valve is stuck open. Single action means you will get air and paint as soon as you depress the trigger. Double action means you get air when the trigger is depressed but have to pull the trigger back to get paint (two actions)

I would recommend polishing the needle with fine wet or dry paper as these cheap clones often are not finished to the high levels of machining that the premium manufacturers use.

 

Also, when you get the brush working properly, try turning up the air pressure slightly and controlling the paint more carefully. This often helps prevent spatter.

 

Atb, Steve.

Hmm. I use a mini compressor with three modes (my Revell one was the same), and always put it on the lowest setting. The Revell one also did the constant airflow thing. In fact, when the brush got blocked, I knew because no air was coming out. I also didn't know how the mini compressor would hold up if there's no air pushing out all the time, since it has no vents of its own.

 

9 hours ago, Vicarage Vee said:

The 'air always on' type of brush does exist: my wife has one for cake decoration. It is fine for what it does but there is very little control other than what you can manage with the paint flow with your trigger finger.

It certainly sounds like your problem is paint drying on the tip. 

I occasionally unscrew the cap while painting to wipe the needle tip with a cotton bud soaked in thinner or cleaner, and that usually fixes most flow issues, though it didn't sort this particular problem, oddly.

8 hours ago, Dads203 said:

 

I really wouldn’t put wet and dry anywhere near a needle, cheap brush or no, the only thing I would try would be a metal polish or a paint cutting compound, you want to make the needle as smooth and polished as possible without removing too much material.

 

Micro mesh might be only thing that could work but only the finest grade if you are inclined to try that, again polishing the needle without bending the tip would be fun.

 

 

Dan 

I had thought about something like this, but didn't want to risk it. 

8 hours ago, Gorby said:

A reasonably good airbrush doesn't have to cost the earth. I started with and Iawata Neo (currently £64 on Ebay) but the nozzle split after less than a year and as the spare parts were quite expensive, I bought a Harder & Steenbeck Ultra (currently £61 on Amazon). Out of the two I much prefer the the Ultra. Yes doubling that budget will get you a much better airbrush, but either the Neo or the Ultra are pretty good and will be a giant leap in quality from what you have now.

 

I accept that if money is tight, sixty odd quid seems expensive, but you don't have to screw up the painting on many kits before it starts to look like a worthwhile investment. Early birthday prezzie perhaps?

 

I hope you sort your problem out one way or another.

Is there a particular nozzle size I should shoot for that would be good for detail work? My Revell one is great for big surfaces and sprays like a charm. Dead easy to flush and clean as well. I can dump out the whole cup on that one in a few seconds.

2 hours ago, Steve Noble said:

Agree 100% I think a decent brush from the start will set you on your way to good airbrushing. However you don't have to spend hundreds of pounds. Plenty of nice brushes sub £100 That are plenty good enough..

Hmm, I guess I'll have to have a good think about it. Something good for camo lines or faint line shading would be great, without a wide pattern.

 

Thanks for the responses, though, guys

 

Gaz

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That looks like a BD-130. I have an almost identical one. You should take apart the air valve, clean it and put some lube on it if you have some. It shouldn't be "air always on" it's not that type of airbrush. It's a standard dual action airbrush. It's not brilliant, but it should be able to get the job done. Maybe add a drop of retarder in the mix for the longer sessions. Every now and then move the brush away from the model and spray at max air pressure, it helps removing the dried up paint from the tip. 

 

Edit: oh, never mind, now I re-read your post I think I get what you did. I would let the brush work as intended, because that way you'll have less issues with tip dry. And I'm sure the compressor has a release valve for when air accumulates.

Edited by bmwh548

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As above, if you have air without pressing the trigger you have a fault with it

edit; just read your post, what part have you swopped from the Revell airbrush to this one

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20 hours ago, bmwh548 said:

That looks like a BD-130. I have an almost identical one. You should take apart the air valve, clean it and put some lube on it if you have some. It shouldn't be "air always on" it's not that type of airbrush. It's a standard dual action airbrush. It's not brilliant, but it should be able to get the job done. Maybe add a drop of retarder in the mix for the longer sessions. Every now and then move the brush away from the model and spray at max air pressure, it helps removing the dried up paint from the tip. 

 

Edit: oh, never mind, now I re-read your post I think I get what you did. I would let the brush work as intended, because that way you'll have less issues with tip dry. And I'm sure the compressor has a release valve for when air accumulates.

Hmm, I could try it with the supplied double action connector, see if it works any better. Its odd though because it would occasionally work fine, and when I use the same connector with my Revell airbrush, there are never any problems at all.

20 hours ago, colin said:

As above, if you have air without pressing the trigger you have a fault with it

edit; just read your post, what part have you swopped from the Revell airbrush to this one

I swapped over the airhose connector. I just unscrew it from one airbrush and screw it onto another, then plug it into my moisture trap.

 

Gaz

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